NF Railway has taken precautions to deal with any kind of untoward incident during the upcoming monsoon season. The mobilization was carried out in the last few months over the entire jurisdiction of N F Railway having more than 6400 km of railway tracks spreading over parts of West Bengal, Bihar and the north-eastern states like Assam, Tripura, Manipur etc under the jurisdiction of NF Railway.
The monsoon season is quite challenging for this railway. This Railway serves a difficult terrain close to foothills of Lower Himalayan ranges, carved by turbulent streams, fed by heaviest rainfall reaching up to about 7000 mm in a year. The Southwest monsoon period normally starts from mid of May and continues till mid of October every year except in the Lumding division where the monsoon period starts from mid of April. Due to this heavy rainfall landslides, rain cuts in embankments, overflowing of bridges etc occur frequently. A detailed strategy is adopted to ensure that the tracks are protected and kept in good condition so that safety of passengers is not compromised.
For this, NFR has formulated a detailed strategy for the safety of railway tracks. As part of preparations before the monsoon collection of materials at sensitive places, cleaning drainage systems, cleaning of waterways of bridges, marking danger levels in bridges etc. have been completed. While all preventive measures have been taken, NFR has also deployed patrolling teams to continuously watch more than 6400 Km of tracks in its jurisdiction for any defect that may arise due to heavy rainfall. Patrols have been deployed to keep the railway tracks safe. This team patrols the track on the basis of rainfall alert issued by the Meteorological Department. These patrolmen are equipped with the latest and state-of-the-art equipment i.e. GPS tracker, luminous jacket, raincoat, and separate waterproof trousers, safety helmet, safety shoe high, powerful search/flashlights etc. The team is on full track patrol round the clock. Mobile phones have been made available with each patrol team to provide information to the nearest station about any situation that may affect the normal movement of trains. In addition to patrols, stationary watchmen have also been appointed on sensitive areas i.e. sites prone to landslides, bridges where water is flowing near danger levels etc.
Despite precautions, there are occasion when bridges are washed out, embankments are breached and landslides occur. To face such situation and to carry out restoration within minimum possible time, materials like boulders, sand, sandbags, various pre-fabricated components of bridges etc. are kept loaded in wagons and placed at strategic locations. More than 7000 cum of boulders, stones etc are kept loaded in wagons at various locations to meet any emergency requirement. Moreover, about 27,300 cum of boulder, 12600 cum of quarry dust and 3000 cum of silt are kept as monsoon reserve stock on ground.
It is hard to predict and avoid natural calamity, but NFR is fully prepared to face the challenges posed by very heavy rainfall in this region during monsoon so as to ensure all-weather connectivity and safety of our esteemed passengers.